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Author Archive | Gilles Barbier

Ayutthaya & Chiang Mai – A Few Glimpses Of Thailand’s Grand History

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Thailand offers one of the most remarkable cultural heritages in the world, remains of a grand history and a powerful civilization that shaped Southeast Asia. Two of the places where you can dive into this glorious past are Ayutthaya and Chiang Mai.

Both are highly popular places, and it is at times challenging to escape large crowds of organized tours. It is nonetheless possible to partly do so and have a pleasant experience at both places. Continue Reading →

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Thailand’s World Famous Beaches – Discovering Koh Lanta & Railay Beach

Railay Beach, Krabi, Thailand

Thailand is famous for its stunning beaches and islands, and most of them are not exactly a hidden secret… It is even partly mass tourism at its worst! Nonetheless, you can still have an enjoyable time there, relaxing after discovering other parts of Thailand or even of Southeast Asia. My personal experience showed both sides: when Koh Lanta was actually a pleasant moment, Railay Beach proved to be one of the worst places I ever visited in my life. Continue Reading →

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Bangkok – The Gateway To Thailand

Wat Phra Kaew or Grand Palace, Bangkok

When visiting Thailand, you will most likely arrive and / or leave from Bangkok. I arrived and left the country from this tentacular city of 15 millions. Bangkok definitely deserves a few days, though distances between points of interest, the heavy traffic and hence the high travel times make it challenging for first time visitors to really enjoy the capital of Thailand.

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Grand Escapades’ Budget Guide To Thailand

A Perfect Place To Splurge A Little

Sunset at the Tew Lay Bar, Railey Beach, Krabi, Thailand

Type Of Travel

This trip to Thailand was definitely different: instead of a backpacking or “flashpacking” type of travel, it was more a mid-range to upper mid-range holiday, with comfortable hotels, convenient transports and lots of nice activities like almost one massage a day or scuba diving.

The budget displayed bellow has hence little to do with the one of a backpacker, but shows that you can splurge for a very reasonable price. Continue Reading →

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Grand Escapades’ Travel Guide To Rwanda

Tracking the Isabukuru Gorilla Family, Parc National des Volcans

“The Switzerland Of Africa”

Itinerary And Time Of The Visit

In January 2017, I spent 2 weeks in Rwanda. Of course I went to the Parc National des Volcans & Tracked Mountain Gorillas – This was one of my motivations for returning to Uganda & discovering Rwanda.

I also visited 4 different Memorials of the Genocide, one of the darkest episodes in Human History, each actually showing a different aspect of those horrid events: Kigali Memorial Center, Nyamata Genocide Memorial (near Kigali), Murambi Genocide Memorial (near Butare / Huye) and Bisesero Genocide Memorial (near Kibuye / Karongi). Continue Reading →

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My 30 Top Pictures On Instagram

Basilica Menor de la Inmaculada Conceptión, Jardín, Antioquia, Colombia

Yes, I am quite new to Instagram, though I now have been quite active over the last 8 to 10 months. With a few hundred pictures shared on this Social Media, it’s a good time to look back at the “feedback” (Likes & Comments”) received…

The results are actually quite unsettling, and quite different from the pictures I sell year after year through my Stock Image Agency. I clearly did not anticipate several trends: Continue Reading →

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Rwanda – A Selection of 30 Pictures

View of Lake Kivu from Home Saint Jean, Kibuye, Rwanda

In January 2017, I spent 2 weeks in Rwanda. Of course I went to the Parc National des Volcans & Tracked Mountain Gorillas – This was one of my motivations for returning to Uganda & discovering Rwanda.

I also visited 4 different Memorials of the Genocide, one of the darkest episodes in Human History, each actually showing a different aspect of those horrid events: Kigali Memorial Center, Nyamata Genocide Memorial (near Kigali), Murambi Genocide Memorial (near Butare / Huye), Bisesero Genocide Memorial (near Kibuye / Karongi). Continue Reading →

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Grand Escapades’ Budget Guide To Rwanda

Depending On Your Priorities!

Visiting an Ex-Poachers Village near the Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda

Type Of Travel

When traveling through Rwanda, you first have to decide if you want to focus on the country itself and hence backpack through Rwanda or if you want a “Safari” kind of experience, going through several National Parks (including the Parc National des Volcans). This decision will have a clear and direct impact both on the type of experience you will have and especially on the level of your budget. Continue Reading →

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Tracking Mountain Gorillas

Tracking the Isabukuru Gorilla Family, Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda

I had already tracked Mountain Gorillas in Uganda back in Summer 2011, but somehow I wanted to live this unique experience once again. This was actually one of my main motivations to go back to Rwanda & Uganda in January 2017. And yes, even a second time it is pure magic, a very privileged hour spent with those majestic creatures in their natural habitat… An experience that should be high on anyone’s list!

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Rwanda – Its Much More Than “Only” Gorillas

Children in Kinigi, Parc National des Volcans

Most visitors come to Rwanda to see the Mountain Gorillas and maybe have a quick insight of the Genocide at one of the many Memorials across the country (more often than not the Kigali Memorial Center), and then leave the country for some safari experiences in Uganda, Kenya or Tanzania. But there are various other aspects of the country that really deserve your attention and at least a few extra days!

 

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